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Game Review #083: Guacamelee! 2 (Nintendo Switch)

Updated: Jan 10, 2019

Reviewer: Chad M.

Developer: DrinkBox Studios

Publisher: DrinkBox Studios

Category: Action, Platformer

Release Date: 12.10.2018

Buy Guacamelee! 2 from the Nintendo eShop here.

It’s LuchaTime! Again!

There are quite a few options on the Switch’s eShop when looking for a MetroidVania-style adventure game, as it grows larger each week. But you’d be hard pressed to find an entry better than the first Guacamelee! game that was brilliantly developed by DrinkBox Studios. I played it through the campaign multiple times as Luchador Juan, fighting villains to save the Mexiverse from peril. So, needless to say, I was excited to hear there was a new entry in the series and it was coming to the Nintendo Switch.

We Need A Luchador To Save Us

The story begins at the ending of first game, with Juan defeating the Calaca Boss. In doing so, Juan saves the life of El Presidente's Daughter, Lupita. Seven years pass, now the two are happily married with two children. Married life has made Juan very comfortable, as he has fallen out of shape and become rusty as a luchador. Lazy days are over, as dark ominous clouds begin to surround the village. Juan's mentor, Uay Chivo, appears and informs Juan that the Mexiverse is in danger once again. He tells Juan that another luchador from another timeline, Salvador, has been corrupted by the power of his mask, and now wishes to collect three relics so he can access the Sacred Guacamole, in the realm of El Otromundo, and become all-powerful.

In attempting to gather the 3 relics, the time lines have begun to destabilize, and if Salvador is not stopped, it will cause all time lines to destabilize—and that means the end of the Mexiverse! Juan is reunited with Tostada from the first entry, and he must work hard to restore himself back to the luchador of old. From there, they travel the world, hunting down Salvador and his minions and making sure they don’t collect all the relics.

Gameplay & Fun Factor

Guacamelee! 2 is everything the first was, and even more! The controls are tight and felt sharp, no matter whether fighting or platforming through the many different stages in hunt of Salvador. This time around, there are even more enemies, more abilities for Juan, and larger stages. DrinkBox worked hard to give us more of what we loved the first time around, but also found ways to step up the final product. The game can be played solo or with up to four players in all. Playing in multiplayer was so much fun, and as much fun as I had just playing in handheld mode by myself, the times it shined brightest were when I had one or more friend to play with me. It definitely made the game that much more manageable, so if you prefer a challenge, playing alone may be a better fit.

Abilities and moves you had in the first game like the Rooster Uppercut transfer over, and even more moves accompany them this go-around. You have to work with trainers. As I stated before, Juan’s a little out of shape and hasn’t done this in a while. You use the moves to reach certain areas and attack enemies or break barriers. You will have to combo your moves and abilities to reach hard to get items and enemies at times. You again collect items to gain health and stamina. I can’t express just how fluid the controls and gameplay are. Just work on your combos and abilities, and you’ll be zipping all around bashing baddies like I was. Plus, there is an added bonus for playing through again with multiple endings, as you have to work to get the “true” ending.

The Return of the Luchador

This game is laugh-out-loud funny at moments, with truly memorable characters and one-liners. One thing I noticed more than the original is how much I cared for Juan and wanted him to return to his family after saving the day. A missed opportunity was the fact the devs didn’t spend more time developing the main villain Salvador. I feel, with a deeper storyline and more backstory, it would’ve only enriched the experience that much more, and maybe even set up a way to round out the trilogy.

But, past the story, the main reason I had fun—though there was moments of utter defeat and frustration—was the crazy platforming puzzles that are littered throughout the game. You’ll have to repeat a mantra over and over in your head, as to not throw your pro controller—or God forbid, your entire Switch—at points. It took me around 9 hours on my first play through, and I can’t wait to go back to the Mexiverse again.

Audio & Visuals

The music for the game fits every moment perfectly with its Electro-Mexican soundtrack. All the sounds, either fighting and hearing him bash baddies all over the screen, or him cutting through the air as he zips to a platform are great. The game look absolutely gorgeous, as DrinkBox used a new rendering machine, and oh boy can you tell! The colors pop off the screen and everything seems to be alive, from the flames on a building to the green sludge in a poison river. The art design is the same, just everything was given a facelift in the graphics department, and it shows.

Final Thoughts

As stated before, I was a fan of the first entry in this series, and coming back and playing the sequel shows me just how much I missed Juan. I hope it’s not as long of a wait before he’s back in action for a third time. Until then, buy this game and experience the Chicken Illuminati for yourself.

Final Score: 9/10

Buy Guacamelee! 2 from the Nintendo eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided By Popagenda

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